Since 1913, the Reading Symphony Orchestra has been providing uninterrupted access to exceptional classical music to the citizens of Berks County and beyond. Throughout the past 105 years as one of the nation’s continuously operating symphonies, the RSO has performed masterworks from Bach to Beethoven, and many more, and has been joined by illustrious guest soloists including pianists Yuja Wang and Fabio Bidini, violinist Midori, and guitarist Jason Vieaux.

The RSO has blossomed under the artistic leadership of Maestros Harry Fahrbach, Walter Pfeiffer, Hans Kindler, Alexander Hilsberg, Louis Vyner, Sidney Rothstein, and its current music director Andrew Constantine. The orchestra currently performs six concerts annually on its Classics series with additional Pops performances, and collaborations with other community performing arts organizations.

The RSO’s numerous educational and outreach programs continue to benefit the community. Among others, the Reading Symphony Youth Orchestra and Junior Strings program gives talented area music students the opportunity to perform advanced orchestral repertoire with like-minded peers under the guidance of high-caliber artistic staff; the Orchestra Zone program provides free private instrumental music lessons to underserved students in the Reading School District; and the Masterclass series gives community members an opportunity to learn from visiting soloists.

Music Director

Andrew Constantine

Andrew Constantine was appointed Music Director of the Reading Symphony Orchestra in April 2007 following a two year search involving nearly three hundred conductors. Constantine served as Associate Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for three years following an appointment by Yuri Temirkanov in 2004. Temirkanov has described Constantine as, “The real thing. A serious conductor!” The legendary teacher Ilya Musin also called Constantine, “a brilliant representative of the conducting art.”

Born in England he studied firstly with John Carewe and Norman Del Mar, then later with Ferdinand Leitner at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena and Leonard Bernstein at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. As a result of winning first prize in the Donatella Flick/Accademia Italiana Conducting Competition he furthered his studies at the Leningrad Conservatory with Musin and worked as assistant to the late Giuseppe Sinopoli.

This was soon followed by his London debut at the Royal Festival Hall conducting the London Philharmonic. Critical acclaim was unanimous.

Constantine works regularly with nearly all of the finest British orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic and the Philharmonia Orchestra as well as having strong relationships with a number of European and Scandinavian orchestras including the St. Petersburg Philharmonic.

In the U.S.A. Andrew Constantine has developed a reputation for imaginative and compelling programming as well as a profound commitment to music education. In 2003 he was awarded the degree of Honorary Doctor of Music by the University of Leicester for his “contribution to music” and was also awarded a highly prestigious British NESTA Fellowship.

“He has an exceptional gift for holding players and listeners on a thread of sound, drawing out the most refined textures”. – Edward Greenfield, The London Times.

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